Databases are very important in my area of work; as a simple storage (but rarely), as a smart relational actor in the game or even as replacement for application server, holding mass of business logic rules.
There are more and more very free and very powerful databases on database market. Some are completely free, and some are “entry” models for big guys. Whatever reasons are, they make developer life much, much easier.
- Table size is no longer limited to 30 Gb
- Password encryption now uses a more secure password hash calculation algorithm (SHA-1), encryption becomes entirely server-based and password login is now required from any remote client
- new interface for plugging in international character sets, including enhanced Unicode support, along with a number of new and corrected collations
Download link: http://www.firebirdsql.org/index.php?op=files&id=engine_200
Let me mention other favorites:
MS SQL Server Express 2005 along with free management tool: SQL Server Management Studio Express – fast and sleek combination for rapid development under .Net 2.0 environment. There are of course limitations, but for most small and middle project this will work just fine.
Also, if you are using older version of SQL 2000 or lite version called MSDE please consider migrating to sQL 2005 – SQL 2000 family won’t be supported on Vista.